Thursday, January 31, 2013

Morning Brief: NYT runs long feature on alleged Chinese cyberattack; The Guardian's iPad app update now makes their tablet edition completely retina display compliant

It is not often that a newspaper will feature its own internal battles with hackers as their front page feature, but The New York Times did just that with a lengthy expose on their four month fight with Chinese hackers.

Appearing first last night, and then on its front page this morning, the four web-page long feature details its own war with hackers, which the paper feels, is the result of its own investigative report on Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister. That report found that relatives of the prime minister had, through their business dealings, accumulated a large fortune, estimated to be in the billions.

The feature, written by Nicole Perlroth, told the tale of the NYT's tracking of the hackers, and their efforts to take advantage of the attack to build a more security system.
The hackers tried to cloak the source of the attacks on The Times by first penetrating computers at United States universities and routing the attacks through them, said computer security experts at Mandiant, the company hired by The Times. This matches the subterfuge used in many other attacks that Mandiant has tracked to China.

The attackers first installed malware — malicious software — that enabled them to gain entry to any computer on The Times’s network. The malware was identified by computer security experts as a specific strain associated with computer attacks originating in China. More evidence of the source, experts said, is that the attacks started from the same university computers used by the Chinese military to attack United States military contractors in the past.
Among the small group of media app updates today was an update to The Guardian and Observer iPad edition, the tablet edition for both The Guardian and the Sunday newspaper, The Observer.

Besides bug fixes, the update makes the app fully retina: "The Guardian and Observer iPad edition now fully supports retina screens: see our news, comment, sport, and stunning photography in beautiful high-resolution," reads the app description.

With the recent release of iOS 6.1, Apple has now issued an update to its Remote app. The update includes "improvements for search results, rating songs, sorting podcasts, and general stability," according to the app description, and early user reviews appear totally positive.

OS updates often bring out a rash of other updates, as well, so we'll keep our eyes open to see if the move to iOS 6.1 brings out any new bugs, or requires any further app updates.